Stage Diver Found Guilty

A man who dived off the stage during a heavy metal concert, injuring two women in the crowd, was found guilty of reduced charges February 9th and put on probation for one year.

Judge Nancy Fuerst convicted Joseph Seink on two misdemeanor counts of reckless assault. Seink, who agreed to a non-jury trial, had been facing eight years in prison for two counts of felonious assault.

Prior to the verdict, Seink gave a teary-eyed testimony, saying he never realized someone in the crowd could be hurt. Authorities said two 28-year-old women each suffered a cracked neck vertebra – but no serious spinal damage – when the 195-pound Seink landed on them during a Clutch concert at Cleveland’s Scene Pavilion last June.

Seink said he sneaked backstage to see the heavy metal act, and celebrated by jumping into the crowd when his favorite song began.

“The last thing I wanted was to hurt anybody,” Seink said during his one-day trial.

The injured women, Catherine Tressa and Tammie Myers, said they didn’t expect someone would jump off the stage and over security guards during the concert.

Witnesses testified that heavy metal shows are characterized by violent slam dancing and that, occasionally, audience members dive off stage, expecting the crowd to catch them.

Assistant County Prosecutor Brian Deckert responded, “He should have known he was going to hurt somebody.”

Seink’s attorney, Walter Camino, didn’t expect to file an appeal.

“We’re satisfied with the verdict,” Camino said.